LIZZIE ARNOT is confident absence will make the heart grow fonder for the next generation of Scotland stars as kids across the country pull on their boots this summer.

The continued easing of lockdown restrictions will allow grassroots teams and programmes to return to normality in the coming weeks and months.

There will be a wave of national optimism during the European Championships as Scotland face England, Croatia and the Czech Republic on their return to a major international stage.

Lizzie Arnot at a McDonalds Football Fun Session at Donald Dewar Leisure Centre

Lizzie Arnot at a McDonald's Football Fun Session at Donald Dewar Leisure Centre

Arnot was part of Shelley Kerr's squad for the Women's World Cup two years ago and the Rangers striker is eager to see young players rekindle their love of the beautiful game.

"It is so important for everyone," Arnot, speaking at the relaunch of McDonald's Fun Football in Glasgow, said.

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"It has obviously been a hard year to not be around people and we all know how important it is to be outdoors and to exercise and to be social.

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"That is key for physical and mental health so it is great that the grassroots programmes can get back up and running. Hopefully the kids will love being back playing.

"Hopefully it will really increase those enthusiasm levels because they have missed it and they just want to be back.

HeraldScotland:

"Personally, myself and my team-mates just couldn’t wait to get back on the pitch.

"I am sure the kids will have really missed the game as well and hopefully participation levels will increase after this because people will realise how important it is to be playing, to be with their friends and having that interaction and to be on a football pitch."